Eleven officials in Shanghai were punished for dinning at a luxury Japanese restaurant on New Year’s Eve when a deadly stampede took place, leaving 36 people dead and 49 injured.
Before the incident, the officials were invited by the Shanghai Bund Investment Group, a local state-owned investment company, to have dinner at a restaurant called Kongchan, or Utsusemi, near the stampede site, according to Shanghai authorities.
They violated the party’s frugality rules by having a lavish banquet which cost 2,700 yuan ($434), authorities said.
Four officials from Huangpu District, where the stampede occurred, have been removed from their posts, including district party chief Zhou Wei, governor Peng Song and deputy governor Wu Cheng. The three officials were responsible for the tragedy, authorities added.
Zhou Xumin, party chief and chairman of the state-owned investment company, received disciplinary warnings along with others.
The banquet has sparked outrage among internet users, who blamed the Shanghai government for inadequate prevention and poor public security measures that caused the tragedy.
Observers speculate that the incident will impede the political careers of Shanghai party secretary Han Zheng and mayor Yang Xiong.
Sources: Xinhua News, Shanghai Supervision Bureau (上海市监察局), AFP
Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.